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  #61 (permalink)  
Old July 11, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
As far as the intros go... that's probably the only place where we might see something which may appear to have some bias, but that bias is applied evenly to all manufacturers..... I agree that you'll often see much of the "party line" in the intro, but that's based on giving the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt... if they tell us that they think their new product is the next best thing to sliced bread, or if there has been a lot of buzz on the `net about a product, we'll mention it there and then let the rest of the review speak to how well it meets those expectations. I doubt we'd see too many review items coming our way if we started out our reviews with a negative slant.
After reading that I'm changing my thoughts about the intros. SKY, you won't need any criticism from me anymore lol. I understand the meaning behind the intros now!
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Old July 11, 2009, 08:43 PM
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Oh, and while we're at it.... kudos to all of the manufacturers who continue to send us review units even though we might not have given them the most glowing reviews in the past. It shows a lot of integrity on their part that they recognise a fair review, and can weigh the negative comments against the positive ones.

I don't know about anybody else, but I for one don't take the negative comments to heart so long as they aren't show stoppers. OTOH, any review I read that can't find some fault(s) gets filed away as not being much better than a paid advertisement. There aren't many products on the market which are perfect, and reviews which portray items as such lose all credibility in my mind. (Memory reviews would be the only exception to that rule as they are pretty well completely performance based.... pretty hard to find fault if they perform well.... :) ).
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old July 11, 2009, 11:45 PM
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I couldn't ask for more for something I don't pay for. I can't say I've read a whole review word for word, but having lots of information there is always nice when you're seriously considering buying said product and need every detail. I find this site to be fairly neutral and there's nothing wrong with not being neutral as well. I enjoy reading an biased review to one side, and then another going to the other side. Also I at least know the testing methods here are legit, which is the most important aspect.
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Old July 12, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Oh, and while we're at it.... kudos to all of the manufacturers who continue to send us review units even though we might not have given them the most glowing reviews in the past. It shows a lot of integrity on their part that they recognize a fair review, and can weigh the negative comments against the positive ones.
Absolutely!!! I think any criticisms given by the HWC reviewers are things that any manufacturer should recognize and try to address with future revisions of their products. I believe that is the reason that products are released to websites such as this, along with the advertising that comes along when the product is well executed. The simple fact that HWC is receiving high end components for testing speaks volumes for the abilities of the reviewers to present results based on their testing of said components. Good job all!
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Old July 12, 2009, 12:13 PM
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I think my point was lost in translation somewhere. The result was that a lot of repliers here have fallen into the same trap that I've tried to swerve Hardware Canucks away from: reading too deeply into single points, and then drawing conclusions from them on a case-by-case basis. The majority of them sound like they are attacking the insignificant tidbits of the big picture I was trying to present. What I was proposing was to truncate the core material of the reviews by trimming off the filler expressions and blog-like remarks, and moving them to the end to provide the technician an opportunity to discuss the results and, moreover, anything else that he or she may want relating to the item or its market, without interfering with the objective analysis.

For those who claimed that I think the reviews and its writers are uncomplicated and simple-minded: that is not true. I was not saying the reviews are too short and needed preposterously pompous vocabulary to sound professional. In reality, I'm somebody who does not like vagueness and length because I have incredibly poor short-term memory (Memento?). Apparently, most readers here don't want to read long articles, anyway. And by integrating weighted personal opinion into the material, the central arguments--the facts, data, and analyses--are lost to obscurity. For example, jumping back and forth between dissecting the mechanical function of a product and admiring/disliking the manufacturer's choice of aesthetics is what I wanted to shine the light on. I know that it is a very casual, conversational method of moving through a review, but, for somebody who is looking for the dissection only, it is difficult to locate without mentally reprocessing the body of text.

Perhaps, at first, I may have been too picky about the introduction flair. Do pardon me because I was frustrated at the helpless instruction manual for assembling my lawn mower. (Traded it with a Toro, now. Excellent mower, albeit too big.) But, I am not trying to incite drama or aggression. In fact, half of my entire criticism was comprised of a viable proposed solution, which leads me to believe that some repliers were instinctively seeking trouble. And, for the record, I was not aware that AkG was the authour of my example, so please lay off of the assumption that it was a personal attack.

I am not, in any manner, recommending a to change the length, content, or complexity of Hardware Canucks reviews. I was suggesting only to comb the blog-likeness, away from the core review, to the end, perhaps under a page that could be titled "Personal Remarks" or "Editor's Thoughts". Absolutely, you may keep all of the quirkiness, humour, and other thoughts in the review; it is encouraged and gives Hardware Canucks its distinct personified presentation that I honestly do adore. It is just that, lately, I am having more difficulty absorbing the same amount of information from the core of reviews... I'm suggesting to make articles easier to read, not harder.

And thanks, SKYMTL, for taking the time to sit down and address the criticism.
Man, you should have posted this first, not that passive aggressive, holier than thou crap you did. This is excellent, constructive criticism, and no where in your original post can I glean that this was your intent.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old July 12, 2009, 12:37 PM
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I think the "Questionable editorial neutrality" was what got me. Unlike other more popular sites, manufacturers don't PAY us for positive reviews.
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Old July 12, 2009, 01:12 PM
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I can add this, as reviewer for Techgage.com, I don't even write the intro that is on the portal of the site. The editors write them. I have never been paid for a review and if I were approached by anyone who wished to do that I would respectfully decline. I have never given a product a perfect rating although I do feel it is fair to give something a really good rating when it does deserve it. I also give a thumbs up to the manufacturers that continue to send me products even when I have not been happy with some of their stuff. I read the reviews here and I can't find bias. I see different writing styles, but what do you expect? We reviewers are not handed a script and we write our articles with our own words. It is just not logical to expect all reviews to look and sound the same and it is even MORE illogical to expect the guys here to have the same pros and cons about a product as another site would have.

I would strongly suggest that a subject like this be brought up in a different manner next time. Amon, you really came off as someone with no clue at all of what you are talking about and in my mind you are accusing this site of a serious abuse of faith and trust. It is not wrong to question reviews and reviewers, but to come out and call "BS" like this is truly uncalled for. I realize I sound harsh in stating this, but as a fellow reviewer, it is clear that you just do not understand what it takes to write a review. I suggest you write a few and submit them for critique to SKYMTL and then see where you stand on this issue.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old July 12, 2009, 01:36 PM
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I have never ever seen any bias from any review on this site.
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Old July 12, 2009, 02:16 PM
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I have never ever seen any bias from any review on this site.
ok so one of the reason i liked hwc is there not scared to call a company out. on there crap product that is. bias my a$$
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old July 14, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Everyone has a bias. We're human beings...it's hard wired into us to have them. I think the OP has the right to their opinion, but the tone of the post did come off as slightly pompous. Clearly the responses posted by staff are a testament to the level of professionalism they possess and are also examples of top etiquette and manners.

As far as HWC is concerned, the reviewers have always managed to keep their biases in check and the testing really is allowed to speak for itself. I love the HWC reviews...in fact it's the first place I look for any particular review if I'm about to purchase something. Regardless if the initial tone of the review seems to lean one way or the other, the testing portion quickly takes precedence anyway.

I like the fact that no punches are pulled and the reviewer tells it like it is once the product has been put through it's paces. It speaks volumes that HWC is even on the "naughty" list for some manufacturers because they didn't like the truth to be told about their product. We need sites like this, well respected and not swayed by monetary incentives that may be offered by manufacturers. It helps to keep companies honest and forces them to put out better products. I think this straight up mentality is shared with many if not most of the members that love HWC. it's probably why they keep coming back.

As a first hand example, many of you know that I worked with Innovation Cooling to help bring the IC Diamond giveaway to HWC. Even though the product wasn't being officially reviewd in article form, I was nervous to some degree about having my name attached to it because I knew that HWC is full of staff and members that know their stuff and tell it like it is. I didn't even think about proceeding with it until I was personally satisfied and 100% confident that the product was up to snuff to even be brought to the attention of HWC staff and members. I consider myself to be a tough critic and the fact that HWC elicited that kind of concern on my part, tells me they are doing a fantastic job. I hope the concern I experienced is shared by manufacturers when they are putting out new products that could be reviewed by HWC. It's this very aspect of the site and the people that make it what it is that keeps me loyal to HWC.

Keep up the great work HWC! As far as I'm concerned, this is the best site and the best community on the net. Obviously there is always room for improvement and I know if there is anything positive the staffers can glean from the OP's post, they will take it as constructive criticism and work to make the site even better.

I wish HWC all the best in the future and hope that no matter how big it gets, we can still behave like a small community that is willing to help other members with whatever they can. I've enjoyed my time here and look forward to many many more years. It makes me tremendously proud that HWC is a Canadian venture and has made a name for itself as a top tech site.

Essay complete!!

Cheers!
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